Foods can be low in fat content, as fat tends to aggravate to cause Regurge .
Smaller amount and more meals are best.
Feed elevated in a Bailey Chair or alternative
Let the dog sit upright for 15 to 30 minutes – this is determined by seeing, if they regurg or throw up their food when finished.
Many ME dogs can’t drink water it causes regurg. The water then, is incorporated in the food given. For pureed food it’s in there to get it pureed. Find out how much water your dog needs a day
Small meatball method is your other option. They are dropped down throat.
There are alternate ways to feed for dogs with hip problems.
A Pro Collar is a donut shaped collar that totally supports the whole head and snout of dog, to elevate his head, to avoid the pooling of saliva in the throat when a dog lays down. This pooling then causes regurg and could cause the dog to aspirate and get Aspirated Pneumonia AP, which is what you are trying to avoid at all cost. They can be bought in Pet Store, but are the blow up kind and can pop or you can buy stuffed ones on line.
Most of our dogs have been diagnosed just as has your own- it has been a shock to most of us initially, but if you read, get your dog upright (vertical), educate yourself on the condition (get a real diagnosis for what is causing the ME), and ask a lot of questions, you should find that ME is in fact, quite manageable. The AP must be treated aggressively!
Way down the line when you really know your dog, you may tweak your way of doing things. Journal what you do and what happens, or you won’t know what helps. Make one change at a time- same reason.
It’s not all “gloom and doom.” Read Ryan’s latest entry on his blog about his 2 year old ME lab, Sidney. http://sidneyme.blogspot.com/
First, calm down and take a deep breath… you have more help here then you realize. It will get easier as you get a routine and you two learn each other.
You need to work out how many calories your puppy will need on an ongoing basis. Small, frequent feeds are usually better and most ME dogs don’t tolerate high fat foods very well – these take longer to digest and, therefore, increase the likelihood of reflux and/or regurgitation.
The amount of information that you need will depend on how well your dog responds to a variety of management techniques: they can be different for every dog, so there are no “one size fits all” advise that anyone can give.
Quoted from an owner whose way coping with the loss of their ME dog led to this info:
“YOU HAVE TO ACT IMMEDIATELY”
LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE W. THEY LIVE WITH ME/MG PETS EVERY DAY.
They have experimented and learned how to care for pets with these conditions.
As soon as you are given the diagnosis, go out and get what you need IMMEDIATELY
Elevate his/her sleeping and resting areas IMMEDIATELY. As soon as we did that. Skye was resting much better and regurgitation was almost gone.
I had read about the pro-collar but was thinking of making one — too late! BUY ONE NOW and make one later if you want to.
Get the best food and tastiest food you can find. Don’t let you dog lose too much weight.
Get coconut milk IMMEDIATELY; if nothing else, your dog will get much-needed calories.
DO NOT depend on the vet and their staff to care for your pet. They will NEVER give him/her the love you can give. I do not fault the vet staff. Their job is to administer drugs, evaluate the results, and fight the disease(s) and resulting conditions. But they will not give them 110% care that you will give.
DO whatever you can to be with your pet or have your pet watched 100% of the time until you get things under control. Ask if you can stay at the hospital and if they won’t let you, demand they let you. You are paying the bills, you are the customer and the best care-giver your pet will ever have.
When it is obvious your pet is totally miserable, THE MEDS (OR SOMETHING) ARE NOT RIGHT! Get him/her to a vet (or a new vet) IMMEDIATELY. Our Skye was having problems with his eye. We thought it was because of the MG. After more than a week, I finally sent a photo to the neurologist who told us to get him to our local vet, the eye problem was not an MG problem. Poor boy suffered for a week because we did not act.
The stories of encouragement are wonderful but they only make me hate myself more for not giving my beloved Skye the help he needed WHEN he needed it, regardless of the vet appointment that was set. I should have taken him back to vet hospital as soon as he began deteriorating again. The vet hospital is
2.5 hours from the house, but living now without Skye is far worse than the long trip to Pullman.
I want to thank everyone who wrote me about their sad stories. I have felt like such a failure and still do as I had read about the pro collar and the coconut milk but it did not sink in as being something I HAD TO DO NOW!
But I think what happened was they fed him but did not elevate his cage and he regurged this aspirated.
BE AWARE: ASPIRATION IS THE KILLER. If you can control the regurgitation, then you can avoid the AP. I am concerned that Skye got AP both times he was in the vet hospital but did not get it at home. We had him elevated most of the time and we watched him most of the time. We did massage his throat from
time to time which if nothing else made him feel better.
Remember please, ACT NOW. Your pet’s life depends on what you do to take care of him not what others may/can do for him.
Do not trust the vets or vet hospital to do everything for him; that is not and cannot be their job. That is your job. ASK, ASK, ASK.
Oh, and keep a very DETAILED journal. Looking back, I saw where Skye would brighten about 5pm. He was receiving Mestinon 7am and 7pm so 5pm was when the meds had mostly worn off. He was better thus I realize now as the vet finally did that he was getting too much Mestinon.”
Be aware many of us have seen changes in amount our dog might regurg associated with changes in barometric pressure. We actually tracked our dog and were able to see over that 4 month period significant increase when she usually didn’t have much at all. Not ALL dogs exhibit this, but something for consideration. You can try to off set these times by trying to keep ac more constant in high temp & humidity areas and can try jackets on them in cold weather, etc.
Many vets are not aware of the life saving techniques that those of us on this list use to manage Megaesophagus. Contrary to past belief, many dogs with ME can have great quality of life with vertical feeding, the right food and consistency and possibly some medication.
Yes my three boys do get upset when I say, “I am feeding Nemo-10 more minutes and then we can leave” They feel like I am always feeding Nemo! The life saver for me was training Nemo to stay in the Bailey chair for 30 minutes after he eats. I can now walk around, get some things done in the kitchen, help my kids with their homework etc..
I think the biggest toll is emotional and time not financial. On the bad days that you have done everything the same and you can not understand why your ME dog is regurging all day. And doing laundry and cleaning carpets of the “throw up” on the bad days. It can really get discouraging and you wonder why am I doing this?! But the good days outweigh the bad and you do feel that you are saving this dog’s life. And that is special. But it is not easy and it is life long.